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100 Greatest Mythological Creatures and Legendary Creatures of Myth and Folklore

Updated on March 2, 2018

A Mythological creature also referred to as legendary creature and mythical creature is a fictional, supernatural and imaginary animal or hybrid being also associated sometimes with being part human. The existence of legendary creatures or mythological creatures referred to in ancient traditional circles as Fabulous Beast or Fabulous creature has not been proved. However, the presence of mythological creatures has often been described in folklore, legends, fables, poetry, mythology, fairy tales, novels, myths and varied forms of fiction. Purists are of the opinion legendary creatures have been described in historical accounts long before history emerged as a branch of science. The beliefs and mindsets associated with mythical creatures are varied bringing to life a plethora of theories about existence and non-existence.

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The Existence or Non-Existence of Legendary Creatures and Mythological Creatures

The word legend is associated with ethnic groups and animals from the ancient world and often draws parallel as a comparison with something unknown. Thus, mythological creatures or legendary creatures referred to as Fabulous Beast or Fabulous Creature are associations with belief that stem from the unknown. Little is known about mythological creatures except the fact that belief made their existence. Since early days when man walked earth, an unknown living being or elusive animal seen or encountered for the first time have become accounts narrated by man which have gradually gone onto become legends associated with mythical creatures. This theory may provide answers to belief of the mind associated with legendary creatures, however the truth remains unclear.

Monstrous creatures, mythical creatures, legendary creatures and mythological creatures have often been depicted and described in different genres such as art, fantasy, literature, history, folklore, and fiction among others. A lot of medieval art depicts the presence of mythological animals and mythological creatures associated with being part human and part animal. While ancient paintings, art and sculpture signify the existence of legendary creatures, there is not enough evidence or strongly significant explanations to prove mythical creatures did exist.

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Belief associated with Mythical Creatures in Various Cultures

The belief of existence of mythical creatures is prevalent in many cultures. Folklore is considered the root that stems belief. Since ancient times people have chosen to believe or not believe legends about legendary creatures. Ancient belief and legend about mythological creatures is also believed to have stemmed perhaps from sightings of elusive animals that may have gone onto being described as mythical beasts in stories told and interpreted. Legends about mythical creatures on land, in the sky, in water, and the underworld are numerous and fascinating in every sense.

In certain cultures legendary creatures and mythical creatures are deities that are worshiped. Certain creatures in legends are considered symbolic of evil while certain other mythological creatures are a representation of peace. Furthermore, certain legendary creatures are known to be gods and goddesses possessing varied sets of power and ability to overcome and protect. Legendary creatures have also been associated with superstition and luck in terms of a good omen or bad omen. Belief manifests in the mind through what is told or passed onto generations. Some believe while some don’t!

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Creatures in Traditional Mythology

Traditional mythology associated with different regions have varied mythical creatures that are fascinating and beyond the realms of understanding and imagination. While many believe creatures in their different forms did exist in traditional mythology, the truth is far from known. The Odyssey mentions fierce and monstrous creatures such as Scylla, Charybdis and Cyclop. In other epic tales the mention of Medusa, Minotaur and Hydra has been made often. A lot of mythological creatures of the classical era such as Flying Horse, Centaur, Triton and Chimera have been depicted in stone carvings, sculpture, and paintings. Did mythical creatures exist?

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Theories about Legendary Creatures and Mythical Creatures

There are a lot of theories and evidence of sightings mentioned in books that lead one to believe certain mythical animals do exist. Some theories talk about a mythical existence in a parallel universe. While these theories have not been proven, belief among believers is exceedingly high. A number of references of the presence of mythical beings through the Middle Ages have been made in books. The belief in regard with existence of mythical beings is strong because of the mention of certain legendry creatures and mythological creatures in holy books. While the religious experts debate that mythological creatures mentioned in Holy books have been used in a metamorphic manner, the interpretations among historians and scholars are varied.

A number of theories that make mythological creatures real, or rather seem real are based on accounts real life encounters of man in early times. The bits and pieces of sightings and encounters of early man have given shape to theories of existence of the unknown. While the existence of legendary creatures may not be believed, the possibility of the unknown being in the form of an animal, hybrid, or part animal-part human does exist. Man’s belief of an unknown existence stems from what is seen and heard. While many may choose to believe myths, legends, fables, and stories, many others may want an explanation, evidence and proof of an unknown existence.

While the existence of legendary creatures is surrounded with myth, belief of existence cannot be denied.

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100 Greatest Mythological Creatures and Legendary Creatures of Myth and Folklore

  1. Werewolf- Wolf-human shapeshifter (Global Culture)
  2. Dragon- Depicted as fire breathing and winged (Global Culture)
  3. Chimera- Hybrid Fire-breathing creature (Greek Mythology)
  4. Loch Ness Monster- Aquatic monster (Scottish Folklore)
  5. Mermaid- Human-fish Hybrid (Global Culture)
  6. Yeti- Ape-like being/entity (Nepalese Folklore)
  7. Basilisk- Legendary reptile known often call the “King of Reptiles” (European Mythology)
  8. Sphinx- Human headed lion (Greek Mythology)
  9. Medusa- Winged female monster who had venomous in place of hair (Greek Mythology)
  10. Griffin- Tail, legs and body of a lion and wings and head of an eagle (Ancient Egyptian Mythology)
  11. Centaur- Horse with an upper human body (Greek Mythology)
  12. Hippogriff- hind half of horse and front half of an eagle (Medieval Bestiaries)
  13. Fairy- Metaphysical form of spirit (European Folklore)
  14. Kappa- Demon or Imp (Japanese Folklore)
  15. Pegasus- Divine winged stallion (Greek Mythology)
  16. Ghoul- A monster associated with eating flesh in graveyards (Arabian Mythology)
  17. Pixie- Nature spirits and little people (Cornish Folklore)
  18. Cyclops- One-Eyed Giants (Greek Mythology)
  19. Redcap- Murderous goblin (Border Folklore)
  20. Manticore- Similar to the Sphinx consisting of a human head, lions body with tail of poisonous spines (Persian Folklore)
  21. Typhon- Deadly Serpentine Giant (Greek Mythology)
  22. Sea Serpent- A large type of dragon-snake monster found in the sea (Greek Mythology)
  23. Leprechaun- Fairies depicted as little men (Irish Folklore)
  24. Fenrir- Gigantic monstrous wolf (Norse Mythology)
  25. Hippocampus- Lower body of a fish and upper body of a horse (Etruscan Mythology)
  26. Cipactli- Sea monster associated with being part frog, part fish and part crocodilian (Aztec Mythology)
  27. Imp- Similar to goblin or fairy (European Folklore)
  28. Minotaur- Creature with Human body and Bull’s head (Greek Mythology)
  29. Hydra- Serpentine water Monster (Roman Mythology/Greek Mythology)
  30. Fomorians- Monstrous and hostile beings (Irish Mythology)
  31. Charybdis- Deadly Sea Monster (Greek Mythology)
  32. Behemoth- Massive beast, believed to be like a hybrid of dinosaur or crocodile (Ancient Jewish)
  33. Cerberus- Three-headed dog referred to as “Hound of Hades” associated with guarding the gates of the Underworld. (Greek Mythology)
  34. Echidna- Monster that was half-snake and half woman referred to as the “mother of Monsters” (Greek Mythology)
  35. Adlet- Creature with upper human body and lower body of a canine (Inuit Mythology)
  36. Cacus- Fire-Breathing Giant (Roman Mythology)
  37. Hecatoncheires- Three Ferocious giants with incredible strength (Greek Mythology)
  38. Geryon- Monster with three human-like heads (Greek Mythology)
  39. Scorpion Man- Creature with Body of scorpion and arms, torso and head of human (Akkadian Mythology)
  40. Fachan- Ferocious Giant with Half a body (Scottish-Irish Mythology)
  41. Ogre- Predatory grotesque hominid monster (European Mythology/Folklore)
  42. Humbaba- Lion Faced Giant (Ancient Mesopotamian Mythology)
  43. Scylla- Monster that lived by the water (Greek Mythology)
  44. Hadhayosh- Gigantic land Creature (Persian Mythology)
  45. Kee-wakw- Cannibalistic Giant half-human and half-animal (Abenaki Mythology)
  46. Abaia- A magical eel (Melanesian Mythology)
  47. Calygreyhound- Creature with torso of antelope, head of a wild cat and claws on an eagle (Medieval Heraldry)
  48. Phoenix- A mythical bird with long life (Greek Mythology)
  49. Tarasque- Fearsome Dragon-like hybrid (French Mythology)
  50. Cockatrice- Two-legged serpent like dragon creature with head of a rooster (Medieval Bestiaries)
  51. Harpy- Half-bird and half human associated with storm winds (Greek Mythology)
  52. Makara- Sea Creature often depicted as hast terrestrial animal (Hindu Mythology)
  53. Ammit- Human devourer with a body believed to be part hippopotamus, crocodile, and lion (Egyptian Mythology)
  54. Garuda- Human-eagle hybrid known to be a protector (Hindu/Jain/Buddhist Mythology)
  55. Winged Lion- Mythical beast lion with bird-like wings (Medieval Bestiaries)
  56. Leviathan- Huge Sea Monster (Jewish Mythology)
  57. Wyvern- A creature with reptilian body and dragon’s wings and head (European Heraldry)
  58. Namazu- Giant Catfish known to cause earthquakes (Japanese Mythology)
  59. Yale/Centicore- Four-legged beast creature with boar-like tusks, large horns and resembling a goat-antelope (European Mythology)
  60. Questing Beast- Serpent-leopard-lion-hart hybrid (Arthurian legend)
  61. Elf- Supernatural beings with magical powers (Germanic Mythology/Folklore)
  62. Mares of Diomedes- Quartet of flesh eating/Man-eating horses (Greek Mythology)
  63. Serpopard- Mythical animal with body of a leopard and neck of a snake (Egyptian Mythology)
  64. Antero Vipunen- A giant known to possess knowledge and spells (Finish Mythology)
  65. Indus Worm- Gigantic white carnivorous worm (Medieval Bestiaries)
  66. Ahuizotl- Dog-like creature (Aztec Mythology)
  67. Psoglav- Dog-headed monster with human body and horse legs (Serbian Mythology)
  68. Aspidochelone- Giant Sea Monster with spines on back (Medieval folklore)
  69. Sirin- Creature with Body of a bird and chest and head of a woman (Russian Mythology)
  70. Cynocephaly- Jackal-headed humanoid (Medieval Bestiaries)
  71. Myrmecoleon- Ant-Lion hybrid (Medieval Bestiaries)
  72. Argus Panoptes- Multi-eyed monster (Greek Mythology)
  73. Ekek- Bird-like flesh eating creature (Philippine Mythology)
  74. Oozlum Bird- Mythical bird known to fly backwards (Australian Folklore)
  75. Hellhound- Underworld dong with super-strength and agility (Global Culture)
  76. Monocerus- Horse with tail of a boar, feet of elephant, and head of stag with a single horn (Medieval Bestiaries)
  77. Water Leper- Gigantic frog with a tail similar to lizard and bat wings in place of forelegs (Welsh Mythology/Folklore)
  78. Ophiotaurus- Serpant-Bull hybrid (Greek Mythology)
  79. Unktehila- Reptilian monster or Serpentoid creature (Lakota Mythology)
  80. Capacun- Monstrous humanoid associated with evil (Romanian Mythology/Folklore)
  81. Mapinguari- Ape-like giant sloth (Brazilian Mythology/South American Folklore)
  82. Yali- Lion-like creature (Hindu Mythology)
  83. Fish-Man- Amphibian Human-looking Cryptid (Cantabrian Mythology)
  84. Asakku- Monstors and evil spirits known to kill humans (Babylonian Mythology)
  85. Sleipnir- Eight-legged Horse believed to be ridden by Odin (Norse Mythology)
  86. A-senee-ki-wakw- Stone giant race (Abenaki Mythology)
  87. Ushi-oni- Bull-headed monster with a horn (Japanese Mythology)
  88. Longma- Winged Horse that had scales of a dragon (Chinese Mythology)
  89. Nguruvilu- Fox-like snake found by water beds. (Mapuche Mythology/Folklore)
  90. Lou Carcolh- Hybrid of Snake-Mollusk (French Mythology/Folklore)
  91. Yacuruna- Mythical people with head and feet backwards believed to live in underwater colonies. (indigenous Amazonian Mythology)
  92. Bashee- Giant snake known to eat elephants (Chinese Mythology)
  93. Teju Jagua- Lizard-dog hybrid with seven dog heads (Guarani Mythology)
  94. Indrik- One-horned gigantic bull with deer-legs and head of a horse vaguely resembling a rhinoceros (Russian Mythology/Folklore)
  95. Onocentaur- Human-Donkey Hybrid (Medieval Bestiaries)
  96. Simargl- Winged dog or lion (Slavic Mythology)
  97. Erchitu- Ox-humanoid (Sardinian Mythology)
  98. Huay Chay- Half-man, half beast creature (Mayan Mythology)
  99. Laestrygonians- Man-eating giants (Greek Mythology)
  100. Mboi Tui- Hybrid serpent-peacock monster (Guarani Mythology)

Which is the most fascinating mythological creature, legendary creature or mythical creature?

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